What is needed for the hospital or birthing center

The onset of labor can begin unexpectedly, so it is advisable to prepare for the hospital or birthing center at least two weeks before, as once you go into labor, you don’t want to panic yourself and be rushing around looking for your essentials. You may find it more convenient to pack two separate bags, one for yourself and one for your baby items. In addition, prepare a bag with all the items you are likely to need for coming home. This will make it easier to find what you need when you are in labor, as you won’t need the other items until afterwards.

Here is guide on what to pack for the hospital or birthing center:

Hospital bag for Mom-to-be

Place the important items such as the birth plan into a pocket for easy finding. Other important items include your camera and camcorder to capture this special moment, don’t forget the spare batteries. As for clothing pack socks and slippers, and a loose and comfortable nightgown and robe. A few toiletries are needed, opt for trial or sample sizes to keep the bag light. Choose a shower gel that can also be used on hair also, and pack your toothbrush and paste, hair brush and hair band and an allover unscented moisturizer. Wet-wipes are useful for freshening up. A lip salve is another great item to have, as lips can become dry and cracked with all that panting during labor.

Other useful items

The above deals with the essential, you may wish to pack a few other personal items that may provide comfort. Along with these, other useful items include a hand held fan to keep you cool during labor. Boiled candy can be good for keeping your mouth moist during labor, as well as bottled water with a sports cap. Healthy energy boosting snacks for you and your partner, as you will both need them. Other than that, some relaxation material such as a book, puzzle book or magazine to pass the time. Organize the bag to know where everything is for easy finding. Having your labor essentials in a separate bag can make it easier for you and your partner.

Postpartum bag

After labor a few other items are needed, which can be packed into a separate bag. Pack a calling card and phone book to be able to contact everyone after baby arrives. A couple of fresh nightgowns and underwear, you may want spares just in case. Pack some breast pads, as you will be leaking for some time after and nursing bras, you will be wearing these around the clock. Also take a good supply of sanitary napkins, extra strength, along with old or disposable underwear. Again, more snacks and drinks, as hospital foods are not always favored and are typically only available at certain times. The only other item you may wish to pack is some makeup for photos, though you will be glowing after meeting your new baby.

Hospital bag for baby

You will need a few items for your newborn baby including diapers and cotton wool. As for clothing, 3-4 vests and a few one-piece stretchy outfits, you’ll be surprised at how often baby is changed. Scratch mittens are also needed, as little finger nails can be jagged and sharp. Pack some formula feed even if you’re planning on breastfeeding, as you can never be sure if it will work out as planned. Pack a few muslin squares, as newborns tend to spit up milk, as they get used to it. Other than that, a couple of receiving blankets are all that is really needed. Extra supplies can always be brought to you if needed.

Hospital bag for going home

For mom:

Remember your body will be swollen and tender, so pack something lose and comfortable to wear for the ride home. You will want to be comfortable, and once you get home you will busy caring for your new baby in-between resting.

For your baby:

A car seat is mandatory, even if you don’t have a car yourself. The car seat needs to be fitted and ready to use, as it will be checked by hospital staff on leaving. Pack a cute little outfit for baby, as you are going to want to get some photos. As well as weather dependent outerwear, and a receiving blanket.

This is just a basic list of things that are useful for the hospital or birthing center. You can of course take any extras to help make your hospital visit more comfortable.